7 August 2012
Business groups unite to tackle late payment culture
Some of the UK’s largest business groups have signed up to the Government’s Prompt Payment Code (PPC) in a bid to tackle the issue of late payment.
Members of the Small Business Economic Forum (SBEF), including the CBI, British Chambers of Commerce and Forum of Private Business (FPB), have all agreed to encourage their members to pay small suppliers on time.
The move has been welcomed by the Business and Enterprise Minister and Chair of the SBEF, Mark Prisk, who described the agreement as a ‘significant step forward.’
He said late payment was ‘an endemic problem that gets worse when there’s a downturn.’ Data from the payment firm Bacs suggests that small and medium-sized firms are owed £35bn in unpaid bills.
By signing the PPC, business groups will advise their members to:
- Proactively agree payment terms before delivering orders
- Raise complaints over late payment from Prompt Payment Code signatories and use legislation already in place to pursue late payers
- Use electronic invoicing where possible
- And follow the advice in Get Paid!, a recent guide for small business which contains tips and hints for suppliers and customers.
Following the agreement, the FPB’s Chief Executive Phil Orford, commented: ‘We are providing the advice, guidance and support entrepreneurs need, backing this statement and supporting the Government’s drive to help smaller firms know their rights and understand there are measures they can embrace to minimise the problem of late payment, while also working with large firms to encourage a culture of prompt payment.’
Some 1,115 businesses have already signed the PPC. For more information on the code visit: www.promptpaymentcode.org.uk
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